My research considers the aesthetic, economic, and social constitution of houses and urban life in nineteenth-century Puerto Rican cities and towns. To this end, I investigate the role of a petitionary process orchestrated by the Spanish colonial state and Liberal elite of the island. These archived house petitions reveal much about the development of urban centers, particularly the interrelationships between domestic form and space, building materials, climate, fire, gentrification, capitalist agendas, and colonial social formation in terms of race, class, and gender. I combine my study of these files with on-site fieldwork, social histories, primary accounts, and a wide range of archival documents.
While there is no overarching theme that unites every faculty member in this exhibition, everyone is connected to someone else through a web of ideas and provocations. We encourage you to use these tags to navigate from one scholar to the next, while understanding that these concepts do not fully account for the depth and nuance of the work you are encountering.